CAN AN ATHLETIC CUP BE BOTH SAFE AND COMFORTABLE?

The majority of males (15 and older), when asked in a 2015-16 survey, “What do you like least about your athletic cup?” responded…. “Comfort.”

  • Question

What’s the big deal with comfort?

  • Answer

Comfort plays an important part in athletic cup protection. 

First, more men and boys will wear a groin cup when necessary if they are comfortable to wear. But most importantly, if the athletic cup is not comfortable, that might mean it’s a poor design or held to the body incorrectly. 

What are the biggest complaints about comfort and safety?

  • Athletic Cup is too Big or Small
  • Uncomfortable when running
  • Athletic Cup moves around too much
  • Jock or shorts don't fit well
  • Testicle pain when hit even lightly

But each of these is also a safety issue that can be addressed simultaneously as comfort.

  • Myth

An athletic cup can’t offer good protection and also be really comfortable.

  • Truth

Yes, it can! But you have to know how to find both. 

Yes, size matters in Athletic Cups

The primary reason males wear an athletic cup is for good testicle protection, obviously. So first, an athletic cup has to fit your sized genitals. Men should not wear a teen-sized groin cup, and an 8-year-old playing baseball should not wear an adult-sized athletic cup. “Size matters” in groin cup protection!

If you are running while wearing a cup, get a shape, style, and designed to allow running and other leg movements while remaining comfortable.

  • Question

But a cup is a cup, right? They all offer some protection?

  • Answer

"Some" is not what you should be looking for; "BEST" should be the goal. 

Avoid “one size fits all” athletic cup protection! The odds are it will not fit your body perfectly and cannot provide top-notch protection. Next, the athletic cup has to stay over your testicles at all times and not be uncomfortable at the same time. Many older type of athletic cups perform poorly in this area.

  • Question

How do I get a safe and comfortable athletic cup?

  • Answer

Get a high-quality product with a high-quality way to keep it in place.

First, consider wearing a compression-type short instead of a “jock” type, and buy a quality groin cup that goes over it, not in it. If it's inside, sometimes it might be likely to get out of place during some leg movements. That is a big safety issue! 

Sticking an "athletic cup down your shorts" is both uncomfortable and often lets the cup move around. This is particularly true in some sports like martial arts. A surprising number of males do this in some sports. In MMA, when you lift a leg for a kick, the groin cup has to stay where it was. Same with catching in baseball. When a male squats, the athletic cup needs to stay where it was. 

An athletic cup that is not firmly attached to the groin area offers poor protection from pain and injury.

Some newer, better-designed groin cups have adjustable straps, which is an essential feature. The more you can adjust it, the better it fits your body, and the more comfortable it will be while protecting you at the same time. 

And finally… quality, quality, quality

Don’t go cheap on groin protection. A hard hit to the balls can do more than just take you out of the game, or ruin your whole day. It can land you at the doctor's office. 

  • Question

As an athlete, what is the best part of having a well-designed, quality athletic cup and support system?

  • Answer

Not having to think or worry about it while you play!

You can be secure, safe, and even comfortable in a good quality, well-engineered athletic cup.

 

Ben Thulen
Sports Injury Researcher, United States
SportsResearcher@pm.me

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